|"Buffalo Gap", watercolor.|
by Kay Smith
It often occurs to me that I need more “gaps” in my life. According to one dictionary, a gap is simply “an unfilled space or interval”, and I am certain I would appreciate more of those during my sometimes headlong hours and days. Surely I would be grateful for an occasional chance to choose “nothing” as an activity – to neither listen nor speak nor think, but just sit in ease and stillness. In the midst of the steady streams of thoughts and words that swirl through my life, I would welcome the possibility of easing up, slowing down, and just simply stopping. It’s strange that I don’t realize this more thoroughly, and put it into practice. How hard is it to understand that gaps – interludes when nothing happens – are an essential aspect of all lives? Don’t we take pleasure in the long gaps every night in which we settle and refresh our lives through sleep? And aren’t there even ever-so-brief gaps between the words we speak, between the breaths we take, between the beats of our hearts? Why, then, do I so often insist on living a gap-less life, shoving and dashing ahead in a nonstop manner, breathlessly pushing myself toward endless finish lines? What about an occasional pause to seriously consider what’s been said? What about stopping to actually think about my thoughts? What about a deep breath now and then?